I wanted to to a post about my grandma who recently passed away but I still don’t really feel prepared to put together a post that expresses who she was and how I will remember her.Yet, I feel like this post is a post I need to do because no matter what I write in my personal journal, ultimately my grandmother is one of those people that gave to this world and I want my memories of her to be a part of that sharing and communal lifestyle that she lead. I wanna give my memories of her away just as much as she would give to others. Yes, the words I write here are far from perfect when it comes to talking about the generous and compassionate woman that my grandma was and anything I write in my own journal would be far better. I want those sacred thoughts and emotions to be something to be kept between me my paper, because sometimes we just need a little something of our own to remember somebody by.This post , however, is really not about those things but about how I remember my grandma.
When I was younger and we lived full time in Indiana I got to see my grandma a lot more then when we moved away to Minnesota, but I was so young then that any of those visits re forgotten to my awareness. I only remember those visits of me as a baby or a toddler from the photographs that my mother has stored away in containers in the basement.After some point of leafing through these pictures I come across a few, rare ” modern” ones in which I can actually recall with clarity the time they were taken. Then the transition from the blur footholds of youth to the higher rungs of my tween and teen years become clear, and this is where I have stashed away numerous memories of my grandmother.Though, many of the people who knew my grandma that were not family are the people affected by her generosity and love which she gave with open arms and an open door into her home, I have never held those as the main thing I think of when I hear her name.You don’t even have to be a green thumb to appreciate the beauty and hard-work my grandma , Dolly, put into her gardening. Gardening in both the sense of planting these flowers beds that blossomed each spring, peeking through the soil around this time of year with renewed hope… Like the woman who brought them forth, year after year, great beauty.Yes, it was not only these flowers beds, and plants that one can admire but also her stretched out garden that was always full of fresh vegetables in the summer.I remember sometimes when we went to visit her, we would walk out on the little mulch and dirt paths she has created and look down at all of her hard-work. Her garden, that deep pool of abundance and food has always made me think of her even now when we walked through it, still full of some flowers and plants but a little shabby for her having been sick these past three moths before she passed away and it being winter, did not attend much to it.Yet, after her funeral the other day, when we went out there I still has to sit there and remind myself that plants were still growing, and in this way I knew for me at least she would never be fully gone. She has always reminded me of this endless source of life, and this deep connections with nature. Not only her love of flowers makes me think of her this way but also the way she interacts with people and gives out of her heart.
It was really hard for us all who knew my grandma to say goodbye to her. She was to young, to sweet and to strong for me to believe that any of this was really happening. In fact, it had not even registered with me until the day of the viewing. Looking at her, as beautiful as ever, radiant, with baskets of flowers around her and a beautiful, colorful flower spray upon her casket, I had to realize that I was wrong. She was gone.Yet, seeing her surrounded by all of those flowers I did not feel that she was completely gone from us. She embodied those flowers. And when we buried her, tears in out eyes, placing roses upon her closed casket as a last goodbye, something made me feel that she was even more alive. Losing my grandma when she was so young, and I am so young was not an easy thing for me. Yet, her love, compassion and gentle ability to take care of those who have no one else to care for them has not only touched me deeply my entire life but also it will live on. When I see a bouquet of roses ,I will think of the way she fostered so many children , adopting many others. When I see a field of sunflowers ,I will think of her dedication to others. It is always hard to say goodbye to a loved one but though I had to say goodbye to her in the sense that I will never see her again, I will never have to say goodbye to her because whenever I encounter some beautiful flower, blooming and persevering, unwavering in the gentle breeze of life… I will think of her.
I love you grandma.May you rest in peace.